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iPhone Video Conversion
Preparation of videos for iPhone/iPod/MP4 playback, using the "ffmpeg" transcoder.
After the ad supported iPhone video converter I've been using all year tried to install a Trojan, I decided to stop being a cheapskate and buy if necessary a perfect solution.
Perfect would've been if iTunes let you drop an AVI, and it dealt with the x.264 conversion like a good program should. But Apple lockdowns aside...

Good geeks have probably run across FFMPEG before; an open source cross-platform comprehensive codec converter, built monolithic (no dependencies) and command line (aftermarket wrappers for gui). Its team is so purist that the main website (ffmpeg.org) only provides source download, and only in SVN. I've been using ffmpeg for many projects, and noticed it backending other products, but somehow overlooked it for this use before. ffmpeg can do so many great things, that simple iPhone appropriate parameters are buried in the haystack, and I had to cobble something together from the vast documentation. Note that ffmpeg is also available for Mac, Linux, etc.

Bottom line: Easiest, freest, fastest way I've found to put a video on an iPhone is a DOS batch script running ffmpeg, and I write here to share and record the command line to do so:
ffmpeg -i %1.avi -ab 128kb -ar 22050 -vcodec mpeg4 -b 700kb -mbd 2 -flags +4mv -cmp 2 -subcmp 2 -s 480x320 -r 14.98 %1.mp4

For convenience, I've posted a zipped binary of ffmpeg.exe and toiphone.bat here for Windows users.

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2009.11.29